Preparing Your Home and Garden for Spring and Summer

Prepare Your Checklist

It’s that time of year again; time for barbeques, pool parties, yard work and loads of fun in the great outdoors. Are you prepared? Before you dive into all that comes with the joys of beautiful weather, be sure you’re ready.

Your home has always been your showplace and your garden, your calling card. If you want to make a great first impression, you’ll want to assure your yard is picture perfect. That includes taking excellent care of your lawn and garden.


Lawn Care

If you have not already contracted this year’s lawn service you’ll want to do it asap. Lawn companies get very busy each spring with the first aerations and treatments of the year. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, it’s time to rent the aeration machine and give your lawn a thorough once-over. You’ll also want to stock up on lawn care treatment products and lawn seed. If you still have a few leaves lying about from the fall, mulch them into lawn before aerating. It’s also a good idea to do a spring thatching to remove the dead grass before planting any new seeds. This will prevent the dead grass from choking off new roots.

Mulch

Mulching your garden helps to keep it healthy and attractive. Applying a fresh layer of mulch each spring is a great way to replace mulch that’s broken down and transitioned into soil. It helps add fresh nutrients to the garden and gives it a fresh, ready-for-summer appeal. Many communities offer free mulch. Check your city’s website for details and assure that you know what type of mulch is being offered. Some mulches, such as those made from pine needles, are more acidic than others, and can be somewhat caustic to delicate plants.

Water

If you turn off your outdoor water source in the winter to prevent your pipes from rupturing it’s time to turn it back on. You’ll want to have that source available for watering newly planted flowers and shrubs.

Pruning

Be sure to trim back any dead plants and tree branches. This will allow new growths to form more readily and make your yard far more vibrant and appealing.

Planting

Planting

If you’re planning on planting spring bulbs, now is the time. Check the suggestions on the package to assure that you are in the zone that is amenable to the plants you have chosen. This is also a good time to treat existing plants using a product such as Miracle Gro. This will help fertilize your plants and facilitate a healthy, colorful bloom.

Gutters

Each spring and fall seedlings and debris falls into your gutters. Cleaning them out is one of the most unpleasant household jobs, but it is critical. Clogged gutters prevent run-off from reaching the downspouts, thus leaving standing water in your gutters. This attracts mosquitoes and can create a foul odor as debris breaks down and begins to rot. If your gutters back up, they can also seep under shingles and into your home behind the walls creating water damage and mold growth. So get out your ladder and the requisite tools and clear those gutters out.

Garages and Shed (Mowers, Trimmers and Tools)

Start the year off right by cleaning and organizing your garage or shed. Take inventory of your tools and products and make a list of anything that needs to be replaced, sharpened or purchased. Tools such as pruners and tree trimmers will need to be kept sharpened or they will do more damage to your plants than they will do good.

Don’t forget your lawnmower care! This is critically important. Each spring (or at least every other year) your mower should be serviced. This will include changing the oil, sharpening the blades, tightening the mechanics, checking the spark plugs and oiling movable parts. Such service will help your mower to run more efficiently, start more easily, keep from overheating, and be safer.

Don’t forget to fill your gas can so that it is available for lawn mowers and trimmers all season long.

Swimming Pool or Spa

If you have a pool or spa in your yard, it is time to start preseason maintenance. Make sure that you have all products on hand so that you can open your pool when weather permits. Clean the inside of the pool before filling. Make sure your deck is clean and organized and that your patio furniture has been wiped down with the proper cleaners.

Window Treatments

It’s a tedious job and everyone hates to do it, but this is the perfect time to give those windows their first wash of the year. You’ll want them to sparkle and shine so you can enjoy the lovely blooms of spring without peering through dirty, streaky windows.

Grills

Weather you use a gas or charcoal grill, it’s time to get it ready. Use an oven cleaner to clean last season’s grease from the racks and walls. Make sure you have plenty of charcoal and lighter fluid available or that your propane tank has been topped off. Nothing is more frustrating that entertaining and running out of propane in the middle of a barbeque!

Tents

Campers may want to pitch those tents and air them out. It’s about time to hit the northwoods! Take inventory of your camping supplies to assure that you have everything you’ll need for a successful camping season and are able to take off at a moment’s notice if weather permits.

Painting and Cleaning

Spring cleaning and painting projects are best done early in the season. This makes it possible to open your windows and air out the paint and chemical fumes before it gets too humid. When planning your cleaning don’t forget some things that typically get overlooked at other times of the year such as:

  • Cleaning behind appliances
  • Cleaning in appliances
  • Cleaning vents
  • Dusting ceiling fan blades
  • Cleaning light fixtures
  • Wiping down baseboards, walls and doors
  • Taking curtains and throw rugs to the cleaners
  • Having carpets cleaned
  • Scrubbing grout with a bleach solution
  • Moving large furniture and vacuuming underneath/ behind
  • Repotting and fertilizing indoor plants
  • Change the filter in your furnace (if you didn’t do it in the fall)

Happy spring! Enjoy the season.

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© 2011 Jaynie2000

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Comments 8 comments

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India

As a child requires mother’s care, a garden requires house owner’s care.


Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 5 years ago Author

Very true. They need to be nurtured to blossom.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Work, work, and more work!.. lol and it's all worth it when we see the results!


Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 5 years ago Author

So true. I love the first day or two of the work because I love spring, but it soon becomes wearing and one project always seems to lead to another!


charmgirl 5 years ago

A well cared-for garden is a real pleasure and worth all the hard work you put into it!


Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 5 years ago Author

So true. I'm planning a big garden care week so I can enjoy it later this season.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Good advice. Time to get out of the winter doldrums and get busy in anticipation of warm weather entertainment.

Thanks!


Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 5 years ago Author

For sure!

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